If raising your arms is painful and limits your everyday activities, you may be suffering from osteoarthritis, which is wear and tear caused by years of use. Other forms of arthritis are inflammatory – a chronic joint disease – and post-traumatic, which is caused by an injury to the shoulder. Injury to the rotator cuff is another reason for shoulder pain.
The Shoulder Joint
The shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in the body. A ball-and-socket joint, the shoulder consists of the rounded top of the humerus (arm bone) which is the ball, which sits against a shallow cup of bone known as the glenoid (the socket). Muscles and tendons form the rotator cuff, which stablizes the shoulder and helps move the arm. Cartilage is rubbery tissue lining the head of the arm bone and the socket and allows for smooth movement of the joint.
The type of shoulder replacement that is right for you depends on the cause of your pain and the extent of damage to the joint.
Total shoulder replacement is done when both the head of the arm bone and the socket are worn or damaged. Partial shoulder replacement may be used if the humeral head is damaged but the socket is not. Reverse shoulder replacement is an option used for long-term injury to the rotator cuff (arthropathy).